14 Maharashtra police personnel succumb to Covid-19 in a week; toll at 403

Fourteen police personnel from Maharashtra Police department succumbed to Covid 19 in the last seven days, taking the total deaths this month in the state police to 49 until April 26. The toll since March 22 last year is 403.

In September last year, deaths in the police force peaked at 89, followed by 55 deaths in August.

Sanjay Pande, Director General of Maharashtra Police, said, “We are in the process of starting special vaccination centres for our personnel in each district and have given strict instructions to all unit commanders to emphasise on Covid appropriate behaviour like wearing masks, using sanitizers and maintaining social distancing. These two measures are our top priority.”

Of the 14 recent deaths, three deaths (including two officers) took place in Pune city, two each in Mumbai and Gadchiroli, and one each in Nagpur city, Nandurbar, Jalna, Gondia, Buldhana, State Reserve Police Force group 11 (Navi Mumbai) and one in Hingoli, which recorded its first death of a policeman in the pandemic. Police in Pune reported 33 new cases and Mumbai 26 new cases on Monday.

In the last 24 hours, 39 policemen tested positive after taking two doses of the vaccine.

Dr Subhash Salunkhe, former health director and technical advisor to the state, said, “After taking both doses I tested positive but had no symptoms. Even after sufficient time passes after taking both doses, one can test positive for the virus. But two things need to be considered. No vaccine gives 100 per cent guarantee and such cases are very rare. Secondly, the vaccinated individuals will be suffering from mild disease and may not need hospital admission for severe illness.”

Sanjeev Singhal, Additional Director General (ADG) (Administration), said, “Excluding Mumbai, out of 1.5 lakh people in our force, more than 1.3 lakh have got the first dose. More than 74,000 have taken a second dose. We are in the process of starting special vaccination centres for our personnel in all districts. We have nominated a nodal officer for Covid 19 response in our department. Under Maharashtra Police Kutumbh Arogya Yojna, there are 290 hospitals where personnel get the best treatment. At some places where cases are high, we have Covid care centres, like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Solapur. We are also giving them Rs 1 lakh for the treatment and have asked all commanders to use money from welfare funds to buy sanitizers, masks, etc.”

Out the 403 deaths in the police, 105 (one-fourth) are from Mumbai Police, 34 from neighbouring Thane police, 22 from Nagpur city, 16 in Pune city, 12 in Navi Mumbai, 10 in Nashik rural and 11 in Nashik city. Remaining districts recorded less than 9 fatalities.

Chaitanya S, DCP (ops) and PRO, Mumbai Police said, “About 33,061 personnel have received the first dose, and of them 20,964 have received the second dose.”

Presently, 4,133 policemen have Covid-19 in the state. Since March 22 last year, 39,984 tested positive and 35,644 recovered.

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